Hybrid and Multi-Cloud: The Future of Cloud Computing

April 03, 2023
Cloud Elephant

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way organizations store, manage and process data. However, with the rise of new technologies and the growing need for data mobility and flexibility, traditional cloud computing models are no longer sufficient. That’s where hybrid and multi-cloud solutions come in. 

Today, EDB offers enterprise grade PostgreSQL and EDB Postgres Advanced Server (with our industry leading Oracle Compatibility) solutions that are deployable in your datacenters or in your cloud service provider of choice in either self-managed or fully-managed modes. 

In this blog post, we will explore the concepts of hybrid and multi-cloud, why they are important and how they are driving innovation in the world of cloud computing. We will also give you a sneak preview of how the demand for hybrid and multi-cloud is further shaping our thinking on current and future EDB Postgres offerings. 

  • What are Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Solutions?
  • Why are Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Solutions Important?
  • If Hybrid and Multi-Cloud is so great: Why isn’t everyone doing it?
  • EDB’s Viewpoint and Conclusion


What are Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Solutions?

Hybrid cloud solutions refer to a combination of public and private cloud services. Private cloud is sometimes referred to as an internal or corporate cloud and is typically implemented on premises. Essentially, hybrid clouds allow organizations to leverage the benefits of both public and private clouds by combining the security and control of a private cloud with the scalability and cost-efficiency of a public cloud. 

Multi-cloud solutions, on the other hand, refer to the use of multiple public cloud services from different providers. Key consumer goals of multi-cloud are to make use of unique services offered by different hyperscalers at the same time, to minimize vendor lock-in and to improve resilience by spreading workloads across multiple cloud environments.


Why are Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Solutions Important?

Even if customers have a “cloud first” strategy, some workloads may need to remain on premises. This can be for a variety of reasons, including data sensitivity or proximity to other applications/databases. As a result, we often see customers adopting a hybrid model, with a desire for consistent management capabilities for both private and public cloud. 

As companies mature their cloud implementation, we typically see customers seek greater diversification and resiliency across cloud service providers. What’s different here is that hybrid and multi-cloud strategies are being more consciously developed and implemented as opposed to the somewhat “by accident” implementations that can result from, for example, divergent cloud strategies across different lines of business within the same company or companies inheriting different cloud approaches via acquisition.

Here are some of the key factors that we feel underscore the importance of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions:

  1. Flexibility: Hybrid and multi-cloud environments offer flexibility in terms of workload placement. Workloads can be moved to the most suitable environment based on application capability, performance and cost requirements. 
  2. Vendor lock-in avoidance: With multi-cloud, organizations can reduce concentration risk on a single provider for all their cloud computing needs. This can help to mitigate the risk of being locked into a single provider's services and pricing structures. Additionally, it can help to promote competition between cloud providers, which can lead to lower prices and improved service quality.
  3. Cost optimization: By combining on-premises infrastructure with public cloud services, organizations can place workloads in the cloud to get the best price to performance ratio. As an example, using public cloud services for burstable workloads may make more sense than having to build for peak on premises, in order to minimize capex outlay and ensure optimal on premise infrastructure utlization.
  4. Improved Resilience: Hybrid and multi-cloud environments allow for high availability by distributing workloads across multiple clouds and providers. By replicating data and applications across multiple cloud services or between public and private clouds, organizations can ensure the availability of their critical business functions in the event of a disruption or provider failure. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments can also provide an opportunity to extend backup and disaster recovery solutions, encouraging better fault tolerance. 
  5. Improved Security and Compliance: Hybrid cloud solutions can contribute to a robust security posture by facilitating the hosting of sensitive data within the confines of a private cloud, while still allowing less-sensitive data to be stored in the public cloud. This can help to mitigate the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks, potentially improving compliance with data privacy regulations. Distributing data and applications across multiple clouds is a strategy that can be leveraged to reduce the risk of a single point of failure or reduce the impact of a security breach on a single Cloud Service Provider (CSP aka Hyperscaler).
  6. Data Sovereignty: Requirements for data to remain within jurisdiction can be a challenge for organizations without a presence (data center) within the target jurisdiction. Leveraging a hyperscaler environment in the region in hybrid mode may offer a solution. A multi-cloud solution may even be necessary if your existing CSP does not offer service in the jurisdiction (not all hyperscalers have services in all regions).
  7. Innovation: Hybrid and multi-cloud environments can drive innovation, faster time to market and competitive advantage by facilitating quick turn-around experimentation and testing of products / services in public cloud vs. on premise. This approach also allows for the selection of differentiating application services per CSP, specifically, in a multi-cloud scenario.


If hybrid and multi-cloud is so great: Why isn’t everyone doing it?

The short answer: Without the right tools and support, it can be complicated.

The slightly longer answer: In some cases customers are running in hybrid or even multi-cloud partly by “accident” today or, at best, without as much planning as they would have liked, leading to some of the challenges outlined below:

  • Integration and Compatibility: Offering a consistent consumer experience and parity in database offerings across private / public + multi CSPs can be a challenge.
  • Cost and Complexity
    • Managing data across multiple cloud providers and on-premises systems requires an understanding of many provider offerings and tools. It can be expensive to source the necessary specialized skills and knowledge per provider to leverage, for example, different UIs / APIs or otherwise implement variations of key security concepts.
    • As a result of implementation diversity across CSPs, meeting company internal compliance, security, support and development standards may require increased staffing and longer lead times.
    • Different cloud providers may necessitate different implementations to satisfy company security requirements, which can further complicate and increase risk.
  • Data and Database Consistency
    • Ensuring that data is consistent and up-to-date across different locations can be difficult and may require additional management tools.
    • Specifically in the Postgres space, nuances between the different hyperscaler Postgres implementations can pose unanticipated challenges. As a simple example, differences in supported versions of Postgres (or the speed with which new versions are supported) can cause inconsistency. More material challenges can arise when providers implement “Postgres compatible” offerings where functionality deviates from the Postgres standards. It should be noted that “Postgres-Compatible” does not equal Postgres. “Compatible” solutions will always be at least a step behind, having to add new Postgres features with a delay.


EDB’s Viewpoint and Conclusion

Now that our customers are becoming more mature in the cloud, we see more intentional workload placement between public and private cloud and more intentional simultaneous use of multiple CSPs. 

Cloud-based databases are generally more scalable and easier to manage than traditional on-premise databases. However, if you run databases in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment without adequate tools and support, it can create more complexity for your company. It can be challenging to ensure consistent service levels, supported versions and configuration options across different environments. Although some cloud providers offer solutions for hybrid and multi-cloud databases, the maturity of these options can vary significantly. It can be an expensive challenge for our customers to self-build either a hybrid or multi-cloud solution.

Here at EDB, we believe hybrid and multi-cloud solutions are critical for businesses looking to optimize their cloud computing environment. We are focused on “consistent by design” hybrid and multi-cloud architectures that can help overcome the challenges and enable organizations to balance the benefits and risks of cloud computing, while also improving cost optimization, security, data mobility and avoiding vendor lock-in.

We are actively taking the very best of our existing self-managed offerings of Postgres and EDB Postgres Advanced Server which are deployable in hypervisor or kubernetes environments in your data centers or on CSP IaaS solutions and further aligning them with our industry leading, fully managed, public cloud offering, BigAnimal. We are committed to unlocking the benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud databases for our customers, while minimizing the headaches that self-builds can present. 


How do you envision running Postgres in the cloud? Send us a note to talk to our team and determine the hybrid or multi-cloud solution that is ideal for your company or application goals.

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